Today I will be talking about the evolution of our filing system. Much like our spices, this was something that didn't come too easily after the big move last November. It also involved lots of trial and error and tweaking. It seems most organizing projects do.
At our previous home, we had condensed our home office into a small armoire in the corner of our family room and we were even considering going completely paperless in order to reduce our household files and further simplify.
While that worked marvelously there, once we got to our new home and started our own home-based business (an automotive shop), I quickly realized we weren't going paperless anytime soon. I soon became overwhelmed because the business and household paperwork was piling up at any incredible rate and I didn't yet have a plan for all of it. This is what our office area looked like for a good month or two. (And these pics were taken on a good day. . . I know it was often way worse than this!)
We couldn't find anything. I spent literally days searching for important papers and Dave was becoming increasingly frustrated. We had sold our filing cabinet on Craiglist when we bought our armoire and cleaned out our office at the other house, or I would have just stuffed them in there. So, we had to come up with a solution. ASAP!
I started by simply sorting all of our junk into two general piles - one pile for home and one pile for business. Then, I placed each paper from each file into logical labeled file folders inside two milk crates (one for home and one for business) and left them out on the table. That at least got some order to the chaos.
Then I was browsing Pinterest and got this idea from Martha Stewart.
So, I adapted it a bit, and I just took my two milk crates and sat them inside our cedar chest (which we were using as extra seating at our work table in the office area) and then put the files inside. Why I don't have a photo of that, I'm not sure...
I loved this concept, but since our cedar chest was a good 15 feet away from our computer desk, I found myself not actually filing paperwork and just leaving huge paper piles lying around. And I also missed having our cedar chest for linens. We seem to have an over abundance of them but never want to get rid of them in case we might need them someday down the road.
That's when I spotted this lovely pull-out file system on Pinterest. It is from Rev-a-Shelf and is hardware that can be added into any cabinet.
I was intrigued because we just happened to have a couple base cabinets on either side of our computer desk and I could keep all our files conveniently located near the computer.
Furthermore, Rev-a-Shelf is the same company that made a lot of hardware for the kitchen that we DIY-ed in our former home (drawer slides, lazy susan mechanism, pull-out trash can system, etc.). We had been thrilled with the Rev-a-Shelf products, so we ordered one of these off Amazon I believe for about $60 and installed it right away.
The installation process was super quick and easy - thanks to the great instructions...and my husband doing all the work :) I'm so lucky to have him.
This filing system has worked out quite nicely ever since. I am so pleased that we persisted once again in finding a great system for us in this new home.
Yet the key to it is actually disciplining myself to get the paperwork put into these file drawers. And we all know that is not very easy! So, be sure to stop back by because soon I will share my solution for how I keep myself on track with actually doing the filing now and minimizing the paper clutter lying around.